Dietetics Service – Patient Information Leaflet

Information about the Trust Dietetics Services. Dietitians are qualified health professionals who work alongside nurses, psychiatrists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists to support your recovery.

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  • Introduction

    This leaflet provides information about the Trust Dietetics Service. If you are not sure about anything in this leaflet please ask a member of staff.

    Dietitians and Dietetic Assistants work alongside health care staff including nurses, psychiatrists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists to support your recovery.

  • What is a Dietitian?

    Dietitians and Dietetic Assistants are qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems.

    They work with both healthy and sick people. Dietitians use the most up-to-date public health information and scientific research on food, health and disease to help people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.

    To help understand your needs, Dietetic staff will want to know about you and
    • your current dietary intake. This includes how good your appetite is as well as foods you like and dislike.
    • your weight and how this has changed over time.
    • your daily routine and how your diet fits into this routine.
    • any support or help you might have. This might include help with shopping, cooking or preparing meals.

  • Why do I need Dietetics Services?

    If you have been affected by changes in your mental health or circumstances around you, you may be experiencing changes in your appetite, weight or ability to eat such as:

    Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
    • Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa
    • Lack of motivation due to depression
    • Forgetting to eat and/or drink due to illnesses such as dementia
    • Feelings of not wanting to eat or auditory/visual hallucinations telling you not to eat

    Weight gain or increased appetite
    • Increasing mood can impact on appetite levels
    • Medications can increase appetite and lead to weight gain

    Increasing difficulty in eating or requiring special diet
    • Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) can impact on the amount or quality of food eaten
    • Soft or pureed diets may lack in calories
    • Assistance with feeding may be required
    • Feeding via a tube may be required for some people where ‘normal diet’ is no longer safe

  • What are the benefits of Dietetics Services?

    Dietitians will help to identify your nutritional needs. Dietetics staff will work with you to discuss and set your own goals and support you to meet goals. Dietetics staff will support you to make healthy diet and lifestyle choices which relate to your individual nutritional needs.

  • How can I access Dietetics Services?

    You can be referred for a dietetic assessment by a health professional that you are already working with.

  • Interpreters

    If you would like an interpreter, staff will arrange to get one.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email [email protected] Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    – the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    – complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • Useful websites and further information

    British Dietetic Association –
    Health and Care Professions Council –
    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust –

  • Other formats, references and review

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2022 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/773/0422 April 2022 V3 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2025